Spring Trip 2011
About 2 weeks ago (I know its a bit late for posting a blog, but its been a busy couple of weeks for me) CUKC held our annual spring trip. This time we decided to have the trip over a 2 day 2 night period which turned out to be a great success and probably our best spring trip to date. The trip started off in the parking lot of Carleton University in perhaps what was a less than speedy exit, either way were off to our destination, the liquid skills cabin on the banks of the Ottawa river just up stream from the first rapid on the river. After we showed at the cabin we continued in the skiddish manner in deciding how were going to go about getting food into everyone’s stomach. It was Good Friday in the Ottawa Valley, and finding a restaurant that would be open was thought to be a bit of an issue. Either way we decided to head out and check out the nearby town of Cobden to see if the standard “go-to spot” was open. The crew headed out all in convoy, minus a few exceptions who chose their own adventure to the restaurant, and upon arrival sat down to a banquet hall sized table and proceeded to get fed. We got back to the cabin and opened the nights festivities with a bon fire. Now, the thing with the fire pit is that it was also combined with a mud pit, with the days leading up to the trip being very rainy the low lying fire pit was very bogged down. In the scramble for seating around the fire pit we used the white wicker patio furniture as seating around the fire pit, and it seemed like a great idea the time. The night progressed smoothly with the added lubrication of the slick mud. Guitars, drums, and harmonicas made appearances, bets were won and lost… and that’s as much as I’m saying the subject, and all in all the night was a muddy good time.
The morning after, we woke up to grey and wet conditions that were not very conducive to newbies going out on the water and having a good time. It was cold and wet and miserable, and although some of the newbs were very keen to get out we decided that it was the best idea. After breakfast was served and conditions looking like they weren’t going to improve any time soon, we decided that we would all take a mini field trip to check out high water coliseum and see some our more experienced members run the gnar. As soon as we got back into our cars the weather broke and the sun and the blue sky emerged and what looked like a day were the first day of kayaking was going be canceled it turned into a gorgeous afternoon perfect for an intro to white water lesson. That night after we got off the river we flipped some burgers got the crew fed and the night which was looking like it might turn into a bit of a mundane night at the beginning due to a recovery from last night’s festivities turned into one of more merrymaking and rowdy good fun. Starting off with a threepeat of the whitewater paddling classic “valley high” which turned into a pretty great drinking game. Guitars were then busted out, songs were made up and rollers were steamed. If you’re wondering why the bon fire didn’t happen the second, the patio furniture that we used sunk into the mud and we may have broken the legs on it, but more on that later. We spent the night inside the cabin, laughing, singing, and steamrolling. The morning after the second night we flipped some breakfast burgers and went on getting everyone organized for their second day on the water. Before we got on the river, Mat and I were dreading the talk that we were going to have to have with Joey Hitchins, the main guy at Liquid Skills, and the guy’s whose white wicker patio furniture we no longer made white and stable. Joey came by to check in on us at some point in the morning and Mat and I went over to give him our sincere apologies and receive his words of ‘what were you guys thinking’. Much to our surprise and relief, Joey didn’t care! instead of ‘what were you guys thinking’ we got ‘I’ve been meaning to remodel the place, burn em’. So burn em we did. After the patio furniture fire we had everyone run the middle channel of the Ottawa. After the first day of lessons with Billy Harris and Graham Ball, we took the crew out the next day with Billy and Michele to run the river. We had every one put-in with Billy and Michele at the cabin while those more experienced would set up shuttle and meet up with them. The shuttle run was a little bit of a gong show, with blame on my part, a weekend of partying and sun took its toll on my personal organizational abilities and gear was forgotten at camp, but in my defense I was not the only one! So myself and the others who already knew how to paddle ran down once all the gear was collected and we met up with the crew of newbs down below butterfly, the third rapid on the middle section of the river.
Up until this point the crew only had 1 or 2 swimmers. Which was excellent because those who were supposed to be cleaning up swimmers weren’t entirely missed. We made it to Garvin’s rapid where Jared nutted up and ran Elevator Shaft and the Dragon’s Tongue lines on the rapid and the others played below on the Garvin’s waves. After our break/play session at Garvin’s we ran down to Lower No Name, where those low swimming numbers sure enough expanding and we made up for all those people managed to stay dry. During the swim fest at Lower No Name, I went to go for a heroic rescue which involved me ferrying out after the swimmer into the current and as soon as I got into the current flipped over, carped on my role attempt no less than twice and then with my tail between my legs went back up the eddy and stayed behind with some others to surf big smoothie while I got some space between myself and everyone who saw Rescue Hero Juraj in action. Getting back to shore we had the swim team do their rightful booty bears and then we headed back to the Cabin clean it up so that it would be in some sort of respectful condition. After which we headed back to the city and so was another weekend of getting a wonderful group of newbs introduced to whitewater and everything it has to offer.
A big thank you has to go to Billy Harris, Graham Ball, and Michele from OKS for helping out instruct our Newbs and get them safely down the river. Also another big thanks to Joey Hitchins who let us rent out the Cabin and be super cool about the destruction of his patio furniture in the mud pit. And one last big thanks to everyone who came out and helped make the trip run as smoothly and perfectly as it did!
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